Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
I’ve talked to several friends in the past few weeks who have said that Lent this year has been particularly challenging. It has been for me. The thing is, when I am having a hard time in my life, I often forget that the spiritual space is always an aspect, and in fact, it can even be a main one.
I am doing a 44-day consecration to St. Joseph right now. It’s a newly written consecration started by a former classmate of mine at Franciscan University of Steubenville. If you want to check it out and do it for yourself, click here.
I’ve also had a rough past few weeks. Missing five days of work for a 103-degree fever started it, but after that I got off my daily discipline and prayer routine. With a few big transitions going on in my life – ones that I have been praying fervently about -- I got in myself into a pretty bad headspace and depressed place. I was feeling unrest, and unsure where to turn for peace.
But last week in our support group for the consecration Greg wrote something that gave me so much clarity:
“Serious Talk Time: Evil spirits don't want you to have peace. During this consecration, it is very normal and common to feel spiritually attacked. This means you may feel down or depressed, irritable or anxious, grumpy, doubtful about the faith, doubtful about other things in your life, or many other difficulties. It is important to have eyes to see that there is a spiritual battle being waged for your soul.
If you've been fighting with your spouse more than usual, less patient with your kids or others in your life, or in other ways find yourself tempted away from the life of virtue, realize that you are being influenced by the evil one. I don't say this to scare you - only to shine light on the dark ways of the evil one. The smallest light immediately casts away the darkness. Mary and Joseph can squash the devil like a clump of dirt between their fingers.
Feel free to post here to share your struggles, bring light to these dark efforts, and let them go.”
I am sharing this with you now because I believe Lent is the same way for many of us, and I want Greg’s powerful reminder to help shine any light in the darkness if you are struggling as well.
If you’re still struggling this Lent, stay close to the Lord. Arm yourself with the St. Michael prayer. I’ve found the wearing of the Miraculous Medal has really helped me through these few weeks. Make sure you are in a place of virtue, and beg the Lord for peace.
Even just being aware of the spiritual attack going on is enough to clear our eyes in the haze and order it, in the name of Jesus, away.
Lent can be heavy -- but the Lord is pruning us to bear fruit. The light is coming – we’re almost there. By the grace of God our small sufferings will be multiplied and we will be overflowing with joy on Easter day.
Keep at it!
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
Where have I gotten off track lately?
What is disturbing my peace currently? How am I going to combat that?
Who am I walking with this Lent that will help me on this journey?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"Bring me back to peace."
"The light is coming."
"Bring light to the darkness."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Shed light on some of the darker parts of life today by inviting the Lord into them.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Andrea Scott, a writer and editor based in Washington, D.C.
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